You Can Make a Cute Christmas Tree Skirt From a Tablecloth

Amazing tutorial.

The Renegade Seamstress

Even though I’ve been sewing and creating Christmas projects for weeks now, this morning I woke up to the first snow that’s actually sticking, and now I’m TOTALLY in the Christmas mood.

If your Saturday includes holiday decorating and you want to make a new, modern tree skirt, here’s one that you can literally make in minutes from a round tablecloth.

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Pin Me!!

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Click here for the directions.

Happy Holidays,

Beth

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The Drama of Bed Bugs

We first moved into our rental house in May. By June I realized we were getting bitten. One day I had gone into the bedroom had found a bug and squished it. I wondered why it had blood. Finally I did some online investigation about the bites Three bites all in a row. Bed Bugs! Oh no!

By then I had spread the bugs to my office not realizing I had done so. I have a habit of going in my PJ’s to start my computer to browse Facebook.  I started to annihilate the bed bugs in my bedroom.

Started by buying bed bug spray and sprayed the room, the mattress, baseboards, side tables. Found some big ones. Washed all my bedding and night clothes. They came back in about 3 days. Did more research on line and found out about  Diatomaceous Earth (DE). Read more information on how to get rid of them yourself and started to debug the house. By then they had spread to our recliner couch in the living room. That was it!

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Here is how I got rid of them.

  1. Bagged everything in my drawers, closets, bedding. I mean everything! Not realizing at first this needed to be done it did not get done until July.
  2. Everything in bags was treated by using laundromat dryers and high temperature during wash. Did not wash everything but everything pretty well went through the dryers. This took some time as I have a lot of stuff. So what didn’t get treated remained sealed in black garbage bags until I could get to it.
  3. Vacuumed whole room taking special care around baseboards. Sprayed with domestic bed bug spray including bed frame mattress, baseboards, closet, drawers.
  4. Was doing this every week but still having a problem.  August we called exterminators for quotes.When they came they could not find any evidence of bedbugs. That’s because I did not have bedbugs before I moved here and got on them right away when I realized I did. However, I was still getting bites.
  5. Continued with the heat treatments for bedding and clothing, spray and DE.
  6. Second Exterminator suggested we stop using domestic Bed Bug spray and only use DE. Stopped spraying. Continued to cycle bedding through dryers and changing every 3 days. After about 2 weeks of this and coping with trying to treat everything I got totally burnt out. Once I felt more secure I moved the bed treatment to once a week.
  7. Exterminators suggested my wood bed frame was holding the bed bugs. Bought metal frame, bed bug mattress encasement, new mattress pad. Moved bed away from wall. Put legs of bed in tall plastic cups/containers with DE in them. By now it was already the middle of July. Put wood bed frame in big plastic bag that I got from storage company. Put DE in Bag and sealed bag will just leave it for a while. Also the mattress bags from storage company went on our two other beds. One in the guest room and one in son’s room. The mattress bags where not expensive to use and we sealed them with a strong tape making sure there were no gaps.
  8. Continued to get bites and realized that office was contaminated. Took office chair and placed on deck. Started using plastic chair for desk. Started bagging my clothes daily. My bed was an island only PJ’s worn in bed and cleaned every time bedding was treated. Nothing was put on bed. However, later I realized my husband, who gets up in the night to use the bathroom, was bringing the bugs back into the bed on his feet. He was walking around in bare feet. Well that changed, he now has to put on slippers. Finally the bugs started to get less and less.
  9. Slowly started to treat clothing left in garbage bags. Heat treatment. I did find that the dryer at home was not hot enough so had to take them a little at a time to laundromat.
  10. Dresser and closet got steamed to get rid of any lingering bed bugs. Steam ironed all my clothing that were to go into closet or the drawers. Finally felt more secure. Still bagging clothing every day that I wear around the house.
  11.  By September noticed my computer was infested. Shut down office. Put computer, keyboard, mouse in freezer. Two weeks, no ifs ands or buts. Started using cell phone for some online activities. DE placed around office. Totally bagged office chair with DE using big mattress bag. This will sit as well for a while.
  12. Bites becoming less and less. Yeah. Steaming baseboards every 2 weeks. Steaming mattress cover every change. DE under mattress and around baseboards. Still bagging clothes. Now it’s late September.
  13. By the time I figured out how this should work I would say it’s taken a good 8 to 10 weeks to get them under control. 
  14. Some items are still bagged and will remain so for a while. When we remove them we will steam every piece just to be sure. They recommend 12 to 18 mo but hoping by steaming directly on the bed pieces this will illiminate any lingering BB.

 

Recommendations

Don’t be like me and leave out these steps. Here are my recommendations based on my own experience. It took a while to get with the program but once we did we noticed rapid improvement.

By treat I mean dryer 120 ° F and hot water to wash. You can use just the dryer but has to be at 120°F for 20 minutes so 30 minutes in commercial dryer. 10 to get to heat and 20 to maintain. For room use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) around base boards. Make sure you put some in electrical outlets. Steam treat baseboards, mattress, couches, chairs and other soft items. Don’t forget to treat curtains, pictures and electronics. Be thorough.

The Vacuum is your friend. Use often. Bag contents and remove from house each time. I use kitchen catchers for this. My vacuum has a film of DE so this protects it. Will blow out when this is over.

Your bed is to become an island. Move away from wall, put bed feet in cups with treatment in cup. Do not contaminate it.

Do not walk around the house in bare feet. 

Bag everything no fooling around. Clothes, bedding, items in drawers, shoes, books, linens, hangers…

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Use garbage bags and seal tightly. Boxes not advisable they are too porous. This part can seem overwhelming but if you take it in stages it will be more manageable.

1.Treat what you need right away. Bedding and some clothes.

2.Then what you need for a week. Change of bedding and some more clothes.

3.Leave the the rest in bags until the epidemic is over and treat everything before you allow back into your house. This can be done over time as you need it.Keep bagged what you don’t need once treated.

Be kind if you are going to purge items treat them first then give them away.

Throw out garbage bags used for untreated items. Use a fresh bag every time.

You can infest your car make sure you treat your car as well.

Electronics can get infested too. Freeze them and leave for 2 weeks to kill the eggs and bugs.

Bed bugs can get in your hair/beards as well as on clothing. They travel with you. Be kind and make sure you notify anyone who you may have accidentally infested with these bugs. That way everyone can become aware and treat for them before they get to the point of total infestation.  Sitting on a couch at a friends, sitting in their car, having kids over night and vice versa. When you travel, check rooms for bedbugs.

Best not to have everything out like extra pillows, throw pillows treat and leave in sealed bags. Same with extra blankets and extra clothing.

Pets can be affected too. Ask your vet about the best to treat. Wash their bedding and get treatment from vet.

Use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) only, forget domestic sprays. Not as toxic.

Use a steamer. You can buy them and are well worth the investment.

Steam Iron your clothing. Pay special attention to seams and hems.

Wash your coat hangers. I did them in the kitchen sink.  Hot, hot water. Even boiled the kettle and added that too. Let them soak for 20 min or more. Hang to dry. :0)

Seal away your shoes in DE. Treat with steam those you can. Inside and Out.

Until you get the bugs under control bag your clothes daily and either wash or run through dryer. I used kitchen catchers.

Couches are tough to treat. We stopped sitting on them once we realized we had an infestation. We only sat in the kitchen. DE went in sofa under cushions, in cracks and will steam treat them.  Have DE around baseboards and under couch.

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I want to say they are just bugs doing what bed bugs do. Eat, poop, sleep and reproduce. Learn their habits. Here are some links to some sites for information.

http://www.badbedbugs.com/bed-bug-dust/

http://www.bedbugremedies.com/heat-treatment-for-bed-bugs

http://www.spcpweb.org/factsheets/BedBugsFactsheet.pdf

http://www.srchc.ca/sites/default/files/multicultural/Bed%20Bugs_English.pdf

http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/ehs/bedbugs.aspx

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Precious Cargo – Vintage Airplane Baby Shower Party

Great site well thought out.

Unique Pastiche Events

Final boarding call!

This fabulous vintage planes inspired baby shower is about to take you on a trip of cuteness!

What’s not to love about the sweet hues of the soft clouds mixed with vibrant pops of reds and yellow in these amazing vintage airplane decorations? This airplane and travel inspired baby shower idea board is perfect for either gender, and is easily able to be transitioned into a birthday party theme for a young child.  Here’s what I had in mind:

Precious Cargo - Vintage Airplane Baby Shower Party Precious Cargo – Vintage Airplane Baby Shower Party

Be sure to find out where I found each of this week’s inspirational elements:

Vintage Airplane Flight Path Floor Décor – shared by Kara’s Party Ideas

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun Vintage Airplane Invitation – available on I Heart to Party

Vintage Airplane Sandwiches – shared by Hostess with the Mostess

Next Stop: Parenthood Sign – shared by Nat…

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Old Lady Fashion

In my mind I’m only 20 but my body says different.  So many fashions have come and gone. I knew I should have hung on to some of my clothes but they wouldn’t fit me now anyways. With short, spiky, grey hair I need some colour in my wardrobe. Love, love colour.

I‘m no fashion guru but I do know good taste. I prove it to myself every time I go shopping. The most expensive outfit in the store and I’m on it. Just to be clear I never buy anything full price unless I need to. I wait for sales. I do find myself liking things with patterns but too much pattern to me is old ladyish.

Where I live it can get cool even in the summer. It can get very hot too. Also, I’m no longer working so not on the tread mill any longer. There are two seasons for clothing winter and summer. Me? I like summer best. For the tween times, fall and spring, you can transition by wearing less layers.  A given is underwear, slips and bras.

Down to Earth Fashion Advise 

  • Every woman should be ready for any occasion but there is an age at which trendy doesn’t work, so stick to what is chic and stylish.
  • Have fun with your accessories. Buy that kitchy thing but make sure you’re going to use it and it doesn’t sit and gather dust. I like kitchy earrings.
  • Longer looser tops hide that middle bulge.
  • A-line skirts hide heavy thighs, longer skirts and pants hide those knees.
  • Vertical stripes are slimming.
  • Heavy on top?  Use a plain blouse and patterned skirt.
  • Heavy on bottom? Use a plain bottom, patterned top.
  • To be really stylish wear all one colour pants/skirt and top and add a textured or different coloured jacket or sweater.
  •  Larger women the big bold patterns are flattering but stay away from tiny patterns.
  • Mix and match using colour schemes. Neutrals with your favorite colours.

 

Here are two lists for wardrobe choices to keep you going.

Summer Clothes

Easy and breezy

summer clothing2 pairs of shorts

2 pairs of capris

2 pairs jeans

2 pairs dress pants

5 tank tops

3 t shirts

1 summer sweater

2 big blouses to go over tank tops as needed

2 summer dresses can have skirts if preferred

2 jackets one for casual and one for good

2 pairs of sandals

2 pairs of flip flops (we use to call them thongs but that has a new meaning now)

1 pair dressy shoes

1 pair of runners

Sun hat or cap

Earrings, rings, no one wears watches any more.

Sunglasses – these are a must as they protect your eyes from damage

Depending on your life style you can increase or decrease the need for some of the outfits. I find not working I am a more casual dresser. In fact I’m wearing all the summer stuff I’ve had but never had time to wear. Yah! 

Winter Clothes

Layered and warm

Winter

3 pairs jeans

2 pairs leggings

3 sweaters

4 blouses

2 pair dress pants

2 dresses one for good, one more casual

1 skirts

2 pairs boots one tall, one short

1 lighter jacket

1 winter jacket

1 pair runners

1 pair dress shoes

7 pairs socks can’t go around with cold feet.

If needed 2 pairs gloves, 2 hats, 2 scarves and warm pajamas.

Again depending on your lifestyle you can add that ski outfit or revert back to summer as needed for travel. I have a trunk I keep my winter clothes in and switch out, usually around October, to winter.

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Makeup

To help uplift your colour use brighter makeup, when the occasion arises. Here is a web site with some great tips for makeup over 60.

Take a trip over to Senior Planet. http://seniorplanet.org/makeup-for-older-women-the-best-online-video-tutorials/

 

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I hope you found this article helpful. Thanks for stopping by.

 

The blackberry

Blackberry Slump

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Blackberry Time

Every year about this time, here in southern British Columbia, the push is on to pick blackberries. Blackberries are a perennial and a relative of the raspberry. This plant grows wild along side our roads and in sunnier parts along the edges of fields and forests. They also bramble meaning they have a long vine that travels up fences and over other vegetation with very sharp thorns.

Make sure you cover yourself well if going picking. I saw one woman with a neat idea for a hands free bucket for picking berries.  She had an old belt and had cut the top off a milk jug leaving the handle which she looped through the belt. This allows for hands free picking.

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Blackberry Slump

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

Dumplings:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

Berries:

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted and drained) blackberries
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your berries and how sweet you would like your slump to be)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Whipping cream or vanilla ice cream for topping

METHOD

1. Make the dumplings: In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your clean hands, cut the butter into the flour until the flour resembles a coarse meal.

Add the milk all at once and stir until the flour is just moistened. Handling the dough as little as possible, form into a ball. Set aside.

2. Heat berries with sugar, cinnamon, lemon, water until boiling: In a 2-qt saucepan, add the berries, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Heat until boiling, stirring a few times so that the berries are well coated with the sauce.

3. Add chunks of dumpling dough: Once the berry mixture is boiling, tear off spoonful chunks from the dough ball and drop onto the fruit around the edges of the pot. You should have enough dough for 6 dumplings.

4. Cover and simmer: Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, without peeking at the dumplings.

Place dumplings in serving bowls and top with berries. Serve with cream or ice cream. Serve hot or chilled.

** You can also interchange berries. Strawberries, blueberries.

Want to know more about blackberries?
The blackberry